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Attorneys General Urge Senate Nod on New Consumer Head

A group of 37 state and territorial attorneys general urged the U.S. Senate to confirm Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“We believe he has the knowledge, experience and leadership skills to serve in this important position,” the group wrote today in a letter to senators released by the National Association of Attorneys General. “He is both brilliant and balanced.”

The group includes 25 Democratic attorneys general and eight Republicans, according to Marjorie Tharp, a spokeswoman for the association. Four have no party affiliation.

The Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 6 approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of Cordray, a former attorney general of Ohio. Forty-four Senate Republicans have vowed to oppose any nominee without changes to the consumer agency’s structure and funding. Confirmations generally require 60 votes in the 100-member Senate.

Brian Deese, deputy director of Obama’s National Economic Council, said in a conference call with reporters that the endorsement of the attorneys general would “increase the stakes” for Republicans who oppose the nomination. Deese also ruled out changes to the structure of the agency, which was created by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010.

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